1608 sign petition for alcohol sales

By PAT BROWN,

On Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 28, it appeared that the petition to get alcohol sales on the November ballot was not going to happen.  By Thursday, Aug. 30, things turned around when 1,608 signatures had been gathered for consideration. 

The signatures--at least 1500 of them--had to be  collected by the September 7 deadline to place the issue on the November ballot. 

By August 28, 420 of those signatures had been verified, according to Circuit Clerk Steve Womack, with an additional 315 yet to be verified.  He said some of the signatures were not from registered voters but “there were not a whole lot of those.”

With the late addition of  signatures, the issue could appear on the ballot.  According to Magee Mayor Dale Berry, who had spoken to the Secretary of State, the County Board of Supervisors must approve the issue being added to the ballot.  The board does not have to support local alcohol sales, only to approve its addition to the ballot to complete the process.

  Berry said that if all signatures have not been certified in time for the regular board meeting, the supervisors could call a special board meeting to approve adding the issue  to the ballot. 

Womack said it was his understanding from those who were circulating the petitions that if the required number of signatures was not met, the petitions would be held until the next election the following year.  

In addition, a few of those seeking a seat on the school board in the second, third and fourth districts have turned in petitions signed by members of their district who support adding their names to the ballot.  School board member districts are the same as supervisory districts. 

So far, only three candidates have submitted petitions to the Circuit Clerk’s office for school board positions. In District 4 John McDonald and Stan Bulger are seeking office, and Robert Everett and Patrice Boykin are seeking office in District 2. 

Those seeking office have until September 7 to turn in petitions for verification.  

Womack reports that Tracey Brown and Charles Savell have filed their intention to seek the office of Justice Court Judge Post  2. 

Joe Garner, Chris Jones and Dusty Drennan are seeking the position of Constable Post 2.  Drennan was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to hold the position as an interim after the death of Dan Easterling late last year. 

Judge Bowen and Judge Sorey will seek re-election for Circuit Court Judge positions 1 and 2 respectively. 

Judge Shoemake will see Alan Buffington as a challenger for Post 1 Chancery Judge.  Judge Gerald Martin will seek the second seat in the district unopposed. 

A race for the Court of Appeals as well as congressional races and U. S. Senate seats will also be on the General Election ballot in November.